The Darcy’s Hope Saga ~ Ginger Monette
If you’ve been flitting in and out of the pages of this blog, you will likely remember the reviews I wrote of the two World War I adaptions of Pride and Prejudice: Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes, and Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey. Now, author Ginger Monette has re-released these two fantastic novels in a single volume, The Darcy’s Hope Saga. While both of the books in this series are complete in and of themselves, the story they tell spans the set to create an epic of love and loss, despair and hope.
These tales bring the reader not only into the horror of the battlefields of the Great War, but also into the world of Downton Abbey. Ms. Monette explains, “It was remarkable to me how little British culture had changed from the Regency Era to the Edwardian Era. Darcy could have dined with Lord Grantham at Downton Abbey with little change in decorum. I was also fascinated at how the war affected everyone’s lives and how wealthy English families offered their lavish homes as hospital facilities during WW1.”
The research that went into these novels is evident in the textured world Ms. Monette presents to us. She says, “I devoured nurse-assistant diaries, a soldier’s diary, memoires or two orderlies, books on surgery… and a lot more. Then I watched hours of documentaries about everything from battles, to the food and uniforms of British soldiers.”
So much of this history comes through in the novels. High-bred ladies like Elizabeth Bennet did often become nurse-assistants during the war, and the chateau-cum-field hospital is based on a real one. Likewise, Darcy was present at two real events during the war- the Battle of the Somme and the explosion at Messines Ridge. These are but a few examples of the very real incidences that underscore this saga.
As a very short recap, Beauty from Ashes is a skillful retelling of Austen’s classic novel: Nurse-assistant Elizabeth Bennet has little time for the cold and wealthy Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy, but when he is assigned to her hospital in Northern France, the two find their hearts are not quite as secure as they thought. However, the course of true love never did run smooth: What of the handsome doctor with whom Elizabeth spends so much of her time? And worse, Darcy is investigating an espionage plot, and Elizabeth is a suspect!
The story continues in Donwell Abbey. Darcy has finally won Elizabeth’s heart, but then she disappears! While still reeling from this news, he leads his men into battle and attempts a desperate and heroic feat to save them, with dire consequences to himself. Gravely injured, he is sent back to England to recover at Donwell Abbey. Here he meets a young nurse who reminds him so much of Elizabeth… but how can he think about loving her when Elizabeth might still be out there, somewhere….?
If you have read the two novels, you know what a treat they are. If you haven’t yet, now is your chance to immerse yourself in this beautiful story.
Food… there always has to be food!
When I began thinking of this lovely set of stories, my mind went immediately to the delights of a traditional English tea. It is hard to think of Edwardian England without visions of bone china tea sets and scrumptious tarts and treats coming to mind. Fortuitously, I recently rediscovered Bakewell tarts. These are delicious tarts with a shortcrust base and a layer of jam beneath an almond filling, topped either with almonds or decorated icing.
I shan’t attempt to recreate a recipe which is done so well by others, so here is a traditional Bakewell Tart recipe to try.
Here’s another recipe that I’ve tried that was yummy enough to be placed on the “make again” list. The pretty top on this is easy to do, but looks spectacular.
More about the Book:
With its stellar reviews, intricate research, cameo appearances by other beloved literary characters, and of course, a happy ending, this is a set not to be missed. The romance is clean and is suitable for ages 13 and up.
You can watch a video trailer here: https://www.gingermonette.com/darcy-s-hope-beauty-from-ashes
The Darcy’s Hope Saga can be purchased at Amazon.
About Ginger Monette:
The teacher always learns the most. And in homeschooling her children, Ginger Monette learned all the history she missed in school. Now she’s hooked—on writing and World War I.
Writing riveting romances inspired by Donwton Abbey and Jane Austen, Ginger’s use of compelling plot, vivid historical detail, and deep point of view has been rewarded by stellar reviews for her recent Darcy’s Hope saga and a grand prize for a WW1 flash fiction piece.
Ginger makes her home in Charlotte, NC, where she enjoys dancing on the treadmill, period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.